We started working with this US based adventure brand in October 2020.
The client had been managing the ads in-house prior to this, with a team that was far too overworked and didn’t have enough time or expertise to properly manage, optimize and scale their accounts.
We quickly applied our testing, optimization & scaling frameworks and began ramping up the spend.
We could have scaled far more aggressively than this, but our client didn't have supply to keep up with sales beyond this, so we’ve kept a spend of around $500 per day and instead operating at over 50+ ROAS consistently for the time being across Facebook, & 10+ across Google.
Before we get into the rest of the case study, here’s a quick screenshot of the client’s results a month before we started (Sept. 2020)
Challenges and Opportunities
Upon conducting the initial audit of this account, the first thing we realized and something we see quite commonly when we’re diagnosing client accounts, is that there was no strategy or process to any of the campaigns running inside the account.
There were campaigns optimized for traffic, landing page views, adds to cart, post engagement, the odd boosted post. The problem with these types of optimization events, is Facebook just sends you lower quality traffic which is far less likely to convert. So while you may be getting cheaper CPM’s and cheaper CPC’s, your bottom line CPA & ROAS will be affected and if you’re an e-commerce business, optimizing for purchases is going to produce a better result 95% of the time.
On the Google side, there was also a lot of opportunity for improvement. Shopping campaigns were being run with inefficient manual bidding strategies that weren’t being updated frequently enough based on the data to feasibly work. Search campaigns were targeting dynamic placements and doing well, but there was no structure to the search ads (no keyword research, no branded terms, SKAG or tightly themed keyword structure) and our display ads were sucking out spend by using maximize clicks with an overpriced bid on top.
On the bright side, the client was achieving a 39x ROAS from their $500 monthly spend just because their products and website and overall funnel health were great. They had a high AOV of $500-$1000 and conversion rate of above 2% despite their high ticket price point. This made is very easy to prove ourselves and we knew we would hit it out of the park with this client right away.
When we work with clients and negotiate with potential clients, we always make sure they understand that media buying is only one factor of the equation, meaning we could be running the best ads in the world in the media buying sense, but if your funnel is broken, you don’t have any product-market fit, and your website converts at 0.5%, we’re going to have trouble generating results and our ads will look like they’re performing sub-par.
So when we saw this client achieve a 20x ROAS with really inefficient media buying, we knew we would be able to scale hard while maintaining profitability.
In addition to the holistic account overview above, We also made the following key discoveries on a more granular level:
They weren’t leveraging their full retargeting spectrum of audiences (which means money is being left on the table, and scaling potential is throttled)
Their account structure was super messy, with campaigns, adsets and creatives all over the place. With no structure, conventions what so ever. This made account analysis & diagnostics extremely difficult. Their campaigns were also optimized for all sorts of strange events including reach/traffic & post engagement when their main goal was getting sales.
They had done very minimal testing in the way of new audiences (both interest, custom & LAA) and creatives.
Their ad creatives were also poorly composed and didn’t do a good enough job educating the target market of their current pain points and positioning this product as the solution to their woes.
Strategy and Implementation
The first thing we did was completely overhaul the current accounts and whatever previous strategy there was going on inside.
Next, we began completely restructuring the account and simplifying the amount of campaigns, adsets etc to reduce audience overlap while increasing efficiency of adspend. We brought it down from 10-15 campaigns to 2 (Cold & Warm).
When building our Funnel, we populated all new custom & lookalike audiences using appropriate date ranges, percentage lookalikes, etc. all ready to begin testing.
We tested as many audiences as possible and set up the adgroups and testing process in a clean way in order to create organised, digestible data. We ran this in a CBO format to allow Facebook to handle budget distribution. From our experience, Facebook is far more efficient at this as a machine learning algorithm than us as humans.
We combined this with a Dynamic Creative strategy using the client’s best performing assets & copy from the past campaigns. This allows Facebook to cycle through and test all of these for us in multiple combinations. This helps us shortcut the testing time required and also allows us to test more images & videos than if we were creating manual posts.
Redesigned our Retargeting strategy which included all of our untapped warm traffic (facebook engagers, instagram engagers, website visitors, video viewers) – we also worked with the client on specific mid-funnel creatives and offers in order to monetize on this segment of their traffic most effectively. Again we used Dynamic creatives for our retargeting strategy too.
We began ramping up the spend, and delivering to broader audiences to keep the scale consistent. We find small audience and target market sizes very difficult to scale.
From there it was a matter of cycling in new audiences and creatives when the current ones were beginning to fatigue, and maintaining that level of scale & profitability.
While conducting all of this setup & change on the Facebook side, we were also working just as hard with Google to increase profitability while increasing spend. We launched Smart Shopping campaigns, SKAG (single keyword ad group) campaigns which drastically reduced CPA & increased ROAS due to their ultra relevancy & tight bid control, branded search campaigns & segmented out the dynamic search campaigns.
Within 3 days after the initial strategy session call, we had a complete strategy in place for both Facebook & Google Ad Accounts.
Within 24 hours of the client saying yes & getting onboarded, we already had their first round of ads live.
Within 1 week of launching all of our primary campaigns were now live.
By the end of our first month with this client, we’d already doubled their ad spend, and 8x’d the revenue coming from their ads as a result of this scale.
On Google, we went from $5k spend and $30k in revenue, to $7k spend, $88k revenue.
On Facebook, we went from $465 spent and $18k revenue, to $5k spent, $320k revenue.
That’s a scary amount of growth for only one month of ad management. We’re still working with this client leading into 2021, so we will update this case study at some point along the way to document how the brand has coped with the substantial scale.
The craziest part of this case study is we could have scaled far more aggressively than this, but literally had to hold ourselves back because our client didn’t have enough supply yet. We focused more on profitability and consistency while our client worked to increase their supply chain capacity.
Now that the initial testing is done, and foundation is set across both of our key platforms, it’s only a matter of time before we take them to 7 figure months.